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on April 11, 2000
Finally, a complete, comphrensive FIELD guide to the birds of India! Gone are the days of hauling 2 or 3 hardcover bird books to the subcontinent just to be able to identify relatively common species. The drawings in this book are excellent, the descriptions very detailed, and the range maps very helpful. My two criticisms are that birders familiar with the common names in Salim Ali's "The Book of Indian Birds" will be confused with the revised nomenclature in this guide (based on the Inskipp's Indian Checklist); some changes are relatively minor, while others are so dramatically different (and frankly puzzling) that cross-referencing is a chore. The second involves the seperation of many of the range maps from the plates and descriptions, sometimes by many pages. This was due to the large number of species featured on some plates- there just wasn't enough room for the maps also. A better strategy might have been to put them all in the back of the book. But the benefits of this book far outweigh the shortcomings- my next trip to India promises to be more rewarding and productive bird-wise (as well as easier on my back)due to this excellent and overdue field guide.
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